Hoy spirits away top Scot honour

ONE was inspired to ride by the BMX bike stunts in ET, and went on to become Britain's three-times Olympic champion.

The other, nicknamed "jam boy", is a teenager who turned his love for his grandmother's jam into a multi-million-pound business.

Cycling champion Chris Hoy and 19-year-old "SuperJam" business whizz Fraser Doherty were among the Scottish talents celebrated last night in the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards.

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Hoy was named Top Scot in an open public vote, joining a past line of winners from broadcaster Kirsty Wark to the Harry Potter author, JK Rowling.

"This is a huge honour and a huge privilege," he said, in a video message shown at the ceremony.

After a film reel recording the Scottish Olympians' triumphant bus tour through Edinburgh, Hoy explained he had to skip the event because he was on holiday in Thailand.

"It's a fantastic feeling to know that you have achieved everything you ever wanted to," he said.

Doherty won the entre-preneur category in the awards, sponsored by The Scotsman and to be broadcast on STV on Sunday, St Andrew's Day.

He set up his SuperJam company aged 14, and it sells 500,000 jars a year. He saw off competition from established names like the Malmaison founder, hotel king Ken McCulloch.

The Scotsman editor, Mike Gilson, said: "Fraser's fearless mix of Scottish home cooking and business acumen embodies the spirit of young entrepreneurship. The Scotsman is delighted to be sponsoring these awards in their 11th year."

Of Hoy, Mr Gilson said: "He's our greatest ever Olympian, renowned for his painstaking dedication to his sport, and an exemplary role model for Scottish athletes."

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Hoy's fellow cyclist, Mark Beaumont, won the sport award. This year, he made an 18,000-mile circumnavigation of the globe in just under 195 days, beating the world record by 81 days.

Those in the running for the art award ranged from painter Alison Watt to art gallery director Richard Ingleby. The winner was Gareth Hoskins, who made headlines this year as the Scottish architect behind the Culloden Battlefield Museum and Scotland's pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Sally Gordon, of William Grant & Sons, makers of Glenfiddich, said: "Aspiring to be the best demands ongoing dedication and commitment… At Glenfiddich, we believe in the philosophy that every year counts and tonight's nominees epitomise this.

"The Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards are our way of acknowledging, and we hope encouraging, others who also believe in their dreams." Nominees for the awards are chosen by a panel of judges then go forward to the public vote.

In a year with a populist tinge, Mark Millar, who creates graphic novels and is the United States' biggest-selling comic-book author, won the writers' award ahead of Costa prize-winner AL Kennedy and crime author Val McDermid.

The Atonement actor James McAvoy won the screen award, ahead of actors Tilda Swinton and Brian Cox.

Energy campaigner Tanya Ewing, inventor of Ewgeco, which shows the real-time use of electricity, water and gas, won the environment award. Cellist Peter Gregson won the music award. John Sinclair, who runs Craigie's Farm and Deli, collected the food award ahead of several well-known Scottish chefs.


Mark Millar


Fraser Doherty


Peter Gregson


Gareth Hoskins


James McAvoy


John Sinclair


Mark Beaumont


Tanya Ewing